REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Call it a busy summer for Specialist Adam Walton and Staff Sgt. Jeremy Baharloui. Both soldiers went to school and earned their Air Assault badges. They also competed and won the Best Warrior competition for the entire Army Materiel Command. Walton was named Best Soldier, while Baharloui was named top NCO. Both soldiers also did their usual duty as percussionists with the AMC band.
The two Army musicians from Redstone Arsenal will join a third musician from another post in the Best Warrior competition for the entire Army. "So three out of 28 in the entire Army made it to this competition that are bandsmen. So I think that speaks volumes for our career fields," says Staff Sgt. Baharloui.
Staff Sgt. Baharloui and Specialist Walton hope to speak once more in the Best Warrior competition, but it won't be easy. "You know, I think I know my stuff and I'm confident of myself, but this is also a group of the best warriors from the entire Army. So it's the best of the best," says Walton.
The competition includes multiple tests in everything from ability with multiple weapons systems, to the ability to answer questions under pressure, to physical fitness. The right attitude is crucial. "Don't let yourself get bogged down if you really struggle on an event, because there's so many events that you don't even know what they're scoring you on exactly," says Baharloui. Specialist Walton says it's like an athletic event. "Try to prepare for it mentally with studying all the tasks and procedures," he said.
These two soldiers will be competing as individuals, but in training they are definitely buddies. "We keep each other going. Hey, we got to do this. We've got to train for this... let's go study. And you know you're not on your own. You're not just out there leaving yourself hanging. You've got a buddy going through the exact same thing you are," says Staff Sgt. Baharloui.
The Best Warrior competition is set for October 5th through the 8th at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green, Virginia.